August 6 Edmund Spenser

Spenser, three hundred years before Housman, already felt that man’s highest ideals had left the Earth, but he was echoing the much older legend of Astraea, goddess of Justice, who was said to have left the world at the end of the Golden Age:

The sixth was August, being rich arrayed
In garment all of gold down to the ground;
Yet rode he not, but led a lovely maid
Forth by the lily hand, the which was crowned
With ears of corn, and full her hand was found:
That was the righteous virgin, which of old
Lived here on earth and plenty made abound;
But after wrong was loved and justice sold
She left th’unrighteous world, and was to heaven extolled